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Facebook: Social Media Scrolling Can Make You Feel Bad

Facebook: Social Media Scrolling Can Make You Feel Bad

Facebook has recently come under fire for introducing a dedicated messaging service that targets children under 13, who were previously banned from using the social media network.

In a blog post published on Friday, Facebook addressed a "hard question": "Is spending time on social media bad for us?"

He wrote: "In general when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information - reading but not interacting with people - they report feeling worse afterwards".

An independent study conducted by researchers from Yale University and UC San Diego also indicated that people who frequently "like" their friends' updates tend to experience more mental health problems.

It's not quite like tobacco companies warning about the dangers of smoking, but Facebook is acknowledging something many already know: Using social media can be bad for your health.

Yesterday's post is a flawless encapsulation of Facebook in 2017 - a company that is constantly trying to walk the fine line between doing good and building a massive advertising business. It refers to a study by University of MI, which randomly assigned students to browse through their Facebook posts for 10 minutes and found that those who were not allowed to comment, post or chat with anyone were more irritated than students who were allowed to do so, at the end of the day.

"Facebook has always been about bringing people together" but has also become "a place for people to come together in times of need, from fundraisers for disaster relief to groups where people can find an organ donor".

Similarly, Facebook's founding president Sean Parker told Mike Allen from Axios that the platform "exploits a vulnerability in human psychology" through a "social-validation feedback loop". The surprising development is that Facebook itself is getting the word out about the negative news.

And just a few days ago, an ex-Facebook executive blasted the company saying it was "destroying how society works".

"Research on peoples' experiences after break-ups suggests that offline and online contact, including seeing an ex-partner's activities, can make emotional recovery more hard". "I genuinely believe that Facebook is a force for good in the world", he said on his Facebook page. A nonprofit organization called Time Well Spent, led by a former Google design ethicist, is pressuring tech companies to move away from products that try to hook people's attention.

While this is a start, the social media site states it's "always working to expand these communities and find new ways to have a positive impact on people's lives". Both phenomena, Ginsberg and Burke write, might be the outcome of users comparing their own lives to the idealized versions posted to social media by others.

Facebook said in a recent essay that the way someone uses its social platform may have a big effect on how it influences their life.

Yesterday (Dec. 15), a odd post went up on Facebook's corporate blog.

The company acknowledged that there was "compelling research" on the worst impulses social media breeds in its users in the long run, going so far as to cite them in their blog.

The authors conclude that the solution is not to use Facebook less, but to use it more - and differently.

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